Motshekga denies targeting Sadtu

Johannesburg - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has denied claims she is targeting Sadtu after some of its members were implicated in a jobs-for-cash scam.

On Tuesday, Motshekga said an independent ministerial task team was appointed following media reports into the allegations. Teacher unions had recommended the task team’s establishment.

Motshekga accepted these recommendations, instead of asking the president to appoint a commission of inquiry, her spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said in a statement.

She said an investigation was needed following reports in City Press that school governing body members, members of the SA Democratic Teachers' Union, and department officials were selling positions for R100 000 or more.

Positions were also paid for with sex and livestock, City Press reported.

Last month, Motshekga told reporters in Pretoria that the council of education ministers (CEM) had received a progress report on the draft finding of the selling of posts.

The report, which she was expected to release this month, contained substantive recommendations which needed a lot of consultation and processing, she said at the time.

According to the City Press, the interim report showed Sadtu dominated six provincial education departments, excluding those in the Western Cape, Free State, and Northern Cape.

At the weekend, Sadtu's general secretary Mugwena Maluleke accused Motshekga of trying to destroy the union.

“She wants to eliminate us because we question her decisions that have crippled the education sector. We find ourselves in this situation because of her decisions,” the Sunday Tribune quoted Maluleke as saying.

He reportedly said the task team's report contained far-reaching conclusions not based on evidence or facts.

The publication said it had learnt through an internal source that all those implicated in the report would be criminally charged.

On Tuesday, Mhlanga described Maluleke's comments as unfortunate. He said the task team had submitted an interim report to Motshekga and the CEM.

It was unthinkable for Motshekga to interfere with the task team’s work, he said.


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